Adidas’ Naomi Osaka Wins Australian Open, Becomes World’s No. 1

Naomi Osaka is the 2019 Australian Open champion.

The Japanese star defeated Petra Kvitová of the Czech Republic in three long sets (7-6, 7-5, 6-4) in Melbourne, Australia, today.

Osaka earned her second Grand Slam victory with the win, having defeated Serena Williams at the U.S. Open in 2018.

The 21-year-old Adidas ambassador’s match against Williams was fraught with controversy: Williams received a game penalty and a $17,000 fine for unsportsmanlike conduct, which sparked a renewed discussion of sexism in the sport.

Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by LUKAS COCH/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (10073614iy) Naomi Osaka of Japan reacts after winning her women's singles final match against Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 26 January 2019. Tennis Australian Open 2019, Melbourne, Australia - 26 Jan 2019
Naomi Osaka gets emotional after winning the 2019 Australian Open.

This time, however, all eyes were on Osaka, who played a strong match and had risen remarkably through the world rankings in the past year (she was ranked No. 72 a year ago and moves into the No. 1 spot with today’s tournament win).

After Kvitová came back from 3-5 down in the second set, sending the match into a third set, Osaka regained her focus to shut down the 28-year-old.

Osaka is the first player since Jennifer Capriati in 2001 to follow her first major victory with a win at the next one.

“All the way up. No stopping the rise of @Naomi_Osaka_. #HereToCreate,” Adidas tweeted out, sharing an image of the star on the court. Her first name was written in block letters, with the “i” in Naomi replaced with a 1.

Osaka has a deal with Adidas that is worth a reported $8.5 million a year, which marks the largest clothing/footwear deal in women’s tennis.

With the Australian Open win, it seems the German sportswear brand’s heavy investment in the young star’s career is paying off.

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